- Get an idea of how much you are willing to spend. Instead of asking around I picked a number I was comfortable with. Not only was the number unreasonable but I couldn't even find new photographers that would charge that amount. I ended up wasting time that could have been better spent vetting photographers that I would actually trust to shoot my wedding.
- Determine your style. But first check out different styles to make sure you actually like a certain style best. There are many different styles including photo-journalistic, traditional, modern, or whimsical. Every photographer has a style and since they are artists, don’t expect to change their style. Once you determine the style you prefer you can stop wasting time looking at those that don’t fit your style.
- Don’t be fooled by photographers that are good at enhancing photos. You want someone that takes great photos that don't require a lot of editing to make them look better. Also, look at the variety of shots. For example, I like when photographers take pictures from different angles and with different light. Some photographers tend to shoot straight on every time which works for some clients and not for others. Just make sure to have a critical eye.
- Meet with them. This meeting should be used to ensure that they are a good fit for your wedding. This is also a chance to ask them questions about their style of photography, who the second photographer is, their working style, how many weddings they have shot, etc. I used this as a guide.
- Search for reviews. A Google search will help surface reviews that can help uncover good things or bad things about photographers. Also, make sure that they are willing to provide references. I had one photographer that refused. MAJOR red flag.
- Ask your friends and family for recommendations. That way you are getting recommendations that you can trust and that those closest to you have experience with. There are A LOT of photographers out there so this will help narrow your search.
In the end the photos (and your memories) are all you have left of your wedding. So take time to make sure you can sleep well at night knowing that the photographer you choose will capture your wedding right. We settled on Narrative Images. They are a husband and wife team who met as photography majors in college. They have an eye for capturing the special moments that the untrained eye might miss. Looking forward to our engagement and wedding pictures!
P.S. If you are searching for San Diego wedding photographers I can send you an excel of all of the ones I researched. Just leave a comment with your contact info and I'll send it over.